What about a defensive player?

Writing for FoxSports.com, longtime (but new to us) H------ Trophy voter Don Borst, asks if there's a defensive player that's worthy of the Trophy this year.

The Heisman buzz is turning to "why not a defensive player?" As with many seasons, college football pundits are in search for a candidate less-obvious than one of the quarterbacks receiving most of the attention.

Hey, I'm not against defenders. In my 20 years as a Heisman Trophy voter, I have had defensive players on my ballot seven times (and an offensive lineman once).

Problem is, that defensive player has not emerged this season.

On the jump, Borst's rundown of the players - plus his list of defensive players he's voted for in past years...

And no, it's not Glenn Dorsey, who is getting a great deal of buzz. The LSU defensive tackle is clearly a supreme NFL prospect, but he's not "the most outstanding college football player in the United States for 2007," as the ballot puts it. Sure, he might have become a serious candidate if he had a stellar season, but he's been banged up with injuries and has been downright quiet for many of the Tigers' key games. Anyone who thinks Dorsey deserves the award is doing exactly what critics belittle Heisman voters for doing – being influenced by hype instead of performance.

The nation's top linebacker, James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, could be the guy. He's had a succession of big games and big plays leading the nation's top defense.

The nation's top cornerback, Antoine Cason of Arizona, could be the guy – as evidenced by his interception return and punt return for a touchdown making the difference in the Wildcats' win over Oregon.

And perhaps the nation's top defensive end, Chris Long of Virginia, could be the guy. He's got a dozen sacks and is the primary reason the Cavs are in what amounts to the ACC Coastal Division championship game this week.

Pick one, any one, if you'd like. But in any case, it would be a bit of a reach. These guys are great players, but they don't reach the level of "most outstanding player in college football."

If there is a defensive player this season who has risen to the level of guys I have previously voted for, let me know: Washington DT Steve Emtman in 1991, Miami LB Micheal Barrow and Florida State LB Marvin Jones in 1992, Miami DT Warren Sapp in 1994, Michigan DB Charles Woodson in 1997, Georgia DB Champ Bailey in 1998, and Miami safety Sean Taylor in 2003).

Kari Chisholm | November 18, 2007 | Comment on This Post (0 so far)
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